Picture of How to make perfume
Why spend a fortune on perfume or cologne when you can make your own for cheap. Brand name perfume/cologne can cost from $50-100, why spend that much when you can create your own fragrance with vodka and essential oils.

Instead of wearing a fragrance that everyone else wears you can make your own unique blend. Your own aromatic creations also makes a thoughtful gift.
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Step 1: What you need:

Picture of What you need:


  • Vodka (the higher percentage alcohol the better) or Everclear if you can get it
  • Essential oils*, fragrance oils**, infused oils, even flavour*** extracts (make sure it's pure) such as vanilla extract
  • distilled or spring water
  • glycerine (this can be found in pharmacies)

Other stuff

  • pretty glass bottles to put the finished product in, preferably coloured glass, reuse bottles or find them at the dollar store.
  • glass jar for mixing fragrance in
  • measuring cup/spoons
  • a dropper if you have one
  • funnel
  • aluminum foil or wrapping paper if you are using clear glass bottles
  • a pencil and paper for jotting down your recipe
  • a discerning nose is helpful

*You can also make your own perfume oil Be a Romantic Scientist: Distill your own perfume oil.

**Fragrance oils are synthetic and are less expensive than essential oils.

***Quite a few perfumes use food flavours in them, so extracts are an easy way of incorporating them into your own creations.

Step 2: Preparing bottles

Picture of Preparing bottles
Sterilize the bottles and jars in the dish washer, especially if you are reusing bottles. They need to be clean and sterile.

Step 3: Add the alcohol

Picture of Add the alcohol
Measure 1/4 cup of vodka/Everclear and pour into jar.
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Hello I am working on my perfume and everything is looking good, until I add the distilled water. Nothing is mixing, what is the purpose of the distilled water? and must I use it? Thanks in advance

ChrysN (author)  bambi.blayse5 days ago

The water dilutes the perfume so it isn't so strong, you can leave it out if you want.

fgribbon2 months ago

Does anybody know of a good place to get the dark colored bottles for this? I've looked and looked and I can't find them anywhere! :(

Hobby Lobby has some nice colored glass bottles, that's where I got mine.

ChrysN (author)  fgribbon2 months ago
fgribbon ChrysN2 months ago

Thanks, but I was thinking more of a brick and mortar store? Tried Micheals and got the clear ones, but saw nothing of the dark colored ones. Saw a bunch of lightly colored ones too, but I didn't think those would cut it?

Another question I had was about the emulsifying process. Will it come out clear with no oil beads or is it meant to be cloudy? Thanks for the help! :)

ChrysN (author)  fgribbon2 months ago

Yes, it will be a bit cloudy as the oil and alcohol don't mix. You can remove the oil by running it through a paper coffee filter, but only after the perfume is aged. Once it is aged the scents should be absorbed into to alcohol.

fgribbon ChrysN2 months ago

Oh awesome! :D Thanks for all your help! <3

I remember my teacher told me “Do not put something on your skin you cannot eat”. Most of perfume making procedures i see use synthetic. Gotta try making scents in a natural way..

lrazonandreas2 months ago

You could try a spray-on texture or even a fun spray paint on your bottles. If just looking for a protective sun/light block for your creations, you could even just brush on a dark acrylic paint. I hope this works for you! I know Wal-mart or Michaels have a pretty good selection on surface variations as far as other than basic spray paint. Glitter, rubberized or even the stuff you would apply to refinish a bbq! Have fun! :p

AdamS202 months ago

You can also make a custom perfume online at
You pick the scents, name the perfume, and can even upload a picture for the label.

I live in the Amazon region and am mounting fairly substantial equipment to steam (and hydro) distil essential oils from local plants, leaves, saps, fruits and nut-like fruits, but NOT woods (no destruction, no rosewood in extiction please, Death to Chanel no 5 and other perfumes that use this ingredient).

I have worked up a network of local people who collect or plant the respective inputs and thus have available supplies of ingredients to go into production with perfumes based, initially, on around 10 local essential oils.

I need help to formulate perfumes based upon such oils and others if need be to complete the perfume blend, but based principally on the marketing plus of being natural AMAZON sourced ingredients. A major plus I think you will agree as this region is a TREASURE HOUSE of innovative ingredients.

Would anyone like to participate in this effort with me?

Let me know, I am extremely creative when it comes to development.

I would like to participate in this effort with you. In what area would you like my assistance?

gentlejms1 year ago
thanks for your work, I want to start a perfume making business, but I need your advice in packaging.
I could help you with the packaging. If you are interested, shoot me a message.
jeremiah7 braimb6 months ago

I am going to need some assistance in this area in the future. How do I get in touch with you. Can I get your email address?

ChrysN (author)  gentlejms1 year ago
I don't know if I can answer your questions, I just make perfume for personal use. The only advice I can give is that the perfume keeps best in a tinted glass container.

you just did me my work!!!

FTDK6 months ago


I'm so excited to be here. I luv perfume and want to try out some. I wanna make something really nice, woody, musky, spicy , warm and masculine for my fiance. I want simething as sexy as coffee. Yea I know it seem like I want a lot but he deserves it. I want something that's just for him from me. Any suggestions pls pls pls. Thanks.....

BaNanners7 months ago

does anyone know if it's ok to use a aluminum spray bottle?

Judy40810 months ago

I was really glad to find this since I have lost my original recipe. The main question I had you answered without knowing you did. The what do you add to what order. To highlight this, for general information, if you start with scent and add alcohol, the finished product will be cloudy, not clear. It is usable - it smells OK - but it is not very pretty. So always measure alcohol, then add scent to the alcohol.

Do you have a breakdown of the percentage of base to water for the different commercial types - toilet water, cologne, perfume, etc?

Ali Atif1 year ago

which ingrdient is used for staying fragrance last longer..please answer meeeee.

OwlManor1 year ago

So ready to try this! Questions :) My favorite scent is Angel. I looked on the site and it said this: Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel, Berries, Honey, Bergamot So.... how do I know how many drops of everything to put in? And what do I use for Chocolate, caramel, berries and honey? These aren't essential oils right?

jtran91 year ago
Thank you for this instructable! This really means alot to me.
The smell didn't really change much, but the cup absorbed the smell and now it smells like the perfume i made lol
And i just wanted to know if there's another alternative other than vodka?
ChrysN (author)  lolimmaunicorn1 year ago
An alternative to vodka would be Everclear or perfumers alcohol.
I made mine in one of those red plastic beer cups and sealed the top with aluminum foil and wrapped it with tape and a rubber band. Will this affect how the fragrance?
ChrysN (author)  lolimmaunicorn1 year ago
Glass is better since it doesn't react with the alcohol. Doing this in plastic may effect the fragrance but haven't tried myself so don't know for sure.
dmadrid11 year ago
I am planning to try this for our projects and i think of orange/ponkan scent of perfume and I have trouble in understanding step 4 and 5. Can I just use one scent, which is the orange scent to make my perfume than lots of scents as describe in step #4?
ChrysN (author)  dmadrid11 year ago
You can just add 25 drops of orange scent if you would like and it would work fine.
Nice, Thanks a bunch.
sibelious1 year ago
Question: If i can find pure alcohol is it better? or it doesn't really matter?
ChrysN (author)  sibelious1 year ago
It is better to use pure, but if you can't get a hold of any vodka works fine, that is what I use.
cen3petal2 years ago
Ok, do you know roughly how much of liquid would i have after filtering it?
Thanks a lot, learned many things here!
ChrysN (author)  cen3petal2 years ago
Though I haven't actually tried it myself, filtering should only remove some of the oil and leave you with the original volume of alcohol.
cen3petal2 years ago
for some reason i can't reply. what would have mixed well? thanks for the quick response!
ChrysN (author)  cen3petal2 years ago
You could use extracts (eg vanilla extract) which are alcohol based but you won't have as large a variety of scents.
If you don't like the cloudiness of the mixture you can filter it (using paper coffee filter ) but make sure you do it only after you age the mixture so that the scents are allowed to transfer from the oil into the alcohol.
cen3petal2 years ago
hey yall, i've just made my first test perfume, containing roughly 1ml EOs and 4ml ethanol 70% concentrated. I have used Sandalwood, Lavander, Sage, Bergamot and Peppermint. The mixture is blurry and after some times layers appear. Any advices?
ChrysN (author)  cen3petal2 years ago
That is normal, oil and alcohol don't mix.
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